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 ARTISTS ELEVATING IMMIGRANT NARRATIVES
FALL 2019

This fall, join us for the second iteration of Artists Elevating Immigrant Narratives. Throughout October and November, immigrant artists, children of immigrants, and artists closely connected to the immigrant community are collaborating to create site-specific performance and visual art in Prospect Park to be presented at a culminating event on Saturday, November 16.


CULMINATING EVENT:

nOVEMBER 16, 2019 | 3-6PM
PROSPECT PARK, BROOKLYN

RSVP FOR UPDATES | FACEBOOK EVENT


Join us on Saturday, November 16 for the culminating event of Artists Elevating Immigrant Narratives in Prospect Park. The event will begin with a series of site-specific, collaborative works performed at various destinations starting at the Prospect Park Boathouse and ending at Lefferts Historic House. The evening will culminate with a campfire chat with the artists.

*In the result of rain or inclement weather, this culminating event will take place on the following day, Sunday, November 17 at 4pm.*

Questions? Email us at hello@thecreatorscollective.org


  ABOUT THE PROJECT

Artists Elevating Immigrant Narratives is a series of projects and events that elevate the narrative of immigration in America and engage art and activism in an environment that nurtures collaboration and results in meaningful action. 

This project was created to have few elements that are set in stone to allow it to develop over time, together with the participating artists. The intent is to offer a platform for artists to gather, collaborate, and share work as organically as possible.

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PROJECT PARTNER

This fall’s iteration of Artists Elevating Immigrant Narratives is presented in collaboration with Prospect Park Alliance. Prospect Park Alliance sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park to benefit the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home.

Learn more about Prospect Park Alliance and all of the ways you can get involved and make the most of your time in Prospect Park.

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PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

FELICIA B. AVALOS | CHANEL BLANCHETT | CINTHIA CHEN
CHIA YING KAO | SIFISO MABENA | MYRA M. MCPHEE
EMILY WEXLER | SHANNON YU


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FELICIA B. AVALOS (she/her/hers) is a performer, choreographer, educator, and published writer based in New York City. She received her BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Her last semester she completed the Dance Abroad Argentina program in Buenos Aires, where she began her tango training. Upon graduating, she’s worked professionally with Kista Tucker Dance Inc., Mich Mash Productions, Taurus Broadhurst, and Sharna Fabiano Tango Company, and spent ten months training with the MASA Dance Journey in northern Israel. Avalos was later accepted into the graduate dance program at The George Washington University (GWU), in Washington, DC. Her thesis topic was on Mexican and Central American immigration told through her father's story of crossing the Mexican border into the United States. Felicia completed her MFA in Dance from GWU in the spring of 2016, performed with Maida Withers Dance Construction Company throughout her graduate program to the fall of 2016, and received the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company Innovation Award based on her thesis concert. She was also a company member of the Maru Montero Dance Company (a traditional Mexican ballet folklórico company) from 2014-2016 and appeared as a guest performer when invited. With these new elements, she began to incorporate the movement vocabulary of mixed martial arts with her personal aesthetic.

Avalos is now performing with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company in New York City where she’s had the privilege of performing at Summer Stage, Jacob's Pillow, New Victory Theater on Broadway, and Istanbul, Turkey. She continues to research the juxtaposition of Mexican and Central American social and political topics with dance. feliciabavalos.wordpress.com


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CHANEL BLANCHETT (she/her/hers) is a theatre artist and theatre outreach advocate. An alumna of Sarah Lawrence College, she has taught performing arts to children and teens of diverse ages and backgrounds in Charlotte, New York, and Philadelphia. Chanel is committed to engaging traditionally underrepresented audiences in theatre while creating space for diverse voices. Since graduating undergrad in 2013, she has been a Teaching Artist at The Children's Theatre of Charlotte and a freelance director and choreographer, working with a range of organizations to create community connections through theatre. She is currently an MFA Theatre candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. @chanelbell_theatre


CINTHIA CHEN (she/her/hers) is an interdisciplinary artist, working primarily in theater and film. She was a Mabou Mines SUITE/Space artist, developing a ‘live cinema performance’, "Anna May Wong, the Actress Who Died a Thousand Deaths." She has had the fortune to be a Fresh Ground Pepper BRB Resident Artist, and a Theater Mitu director and research apprentice. She also has extensive prop design and video design work. Highlights include serving as festival prop designer for Corkscrew Theater Festival and video designer for "Notes from the Basement" (Dixon Place), "Chinese Opera and a Modern Drama" (Lenfest Center for the Arts), and "The Yellow Wallpaper" (IRT Theater). In film, she has worked as a freelance editor for independent artists as well as production companies such as NextRound Productions, Five Sisters Productions, and ARRI China. In the upcoming winter, she will be developing a new performance piece for Theater Mitu’s inaugural Hybrid Arts Lab. cinthiachen.com | @cinthjiac


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CHIA-YING KAO (she/her/hers) is an independent dance artist based in New York City since 2004. She received her MFA degree in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College in 2012. Ms. Kao is the founder of Chia-Ying Kao dance, and has been presented her work and taught modern dance, Chinese folk dance, composition, and improvisation internationally. She continues exploring multiculturalism with the artists she works with and with local community input.

Her work has been presented at Triskelion Arts, Center for Performance Research, Dixon Place, Chen Dance Center, Queens Public Library Auditorium, Northport Library Auditorium, Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, Page Auditorium at Duke University, Tribeca Film Festival, Manhattan's Union Square for a dance installation, Roulette NYC, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston and Hualien Cultural Arts in Taiwan. Ms. Kao has collaborated and performed with important choreographers, dancers, and institutions such as Sara Rudner, Yvonne Rainer, Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones, Asian- American Cultural Circle of Unity, Hou Ying Dance Theater, Topaz Arts, Chinese Theatre Works, Chinese– American Arts & Culture Association, New York Chinese Cultural Center, and Earl Mosley Diversity of Dance, among others. chiayingkaodance.com | @chiayingkaodance

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SIFISO MABENA (she/her/hers) is a multidisciplinary theatre maker from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, now based in New York. She is a proud member of AEA and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with an MFA in Theatre. As a playwright she has worked with the Royal Court Theatre (UK) and the British Council in the development of two new plays: The Comeback and Interrogations. Sifiso recently performed as the vocalist/mother in Red Hills with En Garde Arts in New York. Other credits include: All The Light In the World by Rebecca Rouse (La Mama, NY); Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble’s The Art of Luv (Part 6): Awesome Grotto! (Abrons Art Center,NY); Ocean Filibuster with Pearl Damour (Abrons Art Center, NY) and assistant directing Colette Robert for Behind the Sheet (EST, New York).

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MYRA M. MCPHEE (she/her/hers) is unapologetically black. She is also a Bahamian playwright, director, performer, photographer and collaborator.  Her work revolves around social justice with particular focus on the intersections of black, immigrant, and female experiences. She immigrated to the U.S.A. in the late 90s but continues to work with in The Bahamas with Bahamian collaborators.

She has performed in productions of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide and Vagina Monologues in The Bahamas and the social justice initiative Tunnel of Oppression in East Lansing, Michigan. As an alumna of the Social Justice Training Institute, she is passionate about using theatre to examine social justice themes and violence against black and brown bodies. In April 2017, she co-Directed Endless Long Hot Summer a production about the violence in the United States during the summer 2016 and created the SLC Hair Show: happy to be nappy, kinky, wavy, coiled or straight to explore the hair journeys of people of color. In May 2018, she performed her one woman show, Take me baby or leave me: An epistemological study of a black woman's 492 year transition to the United States in Manhattan, Queens and Westchester County. This performance explores how a woman’s journey through life is the result of the work and experiences of her black ancestors. It also examines the roles of community for and effects of isolation on immigrants as they navigate life-changing transitions. In October 2018, her original play, Lies We Tell Our Amygdala, was produced and published in Nassau, Bahamas. This play is about the trauma black women experience from their loved ones. Myra M. has earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education and is currently working on her M.F.A. in Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College.

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EMILY WEXLER (she/her/hers) is a Brooklyn-based musician/song-writer/teaching artist/activist who employs the transformative power of musical story-telling as a means toward collective liberation. Emily has an alternative r&b/electronic music project called ES Wex in which she performs original music exploring personal and social transformation throughout NYC. Through ES Wex, she organizes multidisciplinary events to build community and center femme, queer, trans, and POC artists. Emily directs EarSay Youth Voices, a weekly performance workshop at The International High School at Laguardia Community College, a program for new immigrant teenagers to co-create short performance pieces that empower them to tell their stories and practice English. She is also a Teaching Artist for ENACT, a drama therapy organization serving NYC public schools that models alternative methods of navigating conflict through performance pedagogy. eswex.com | @es.wex

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SHANNON YU (she/her, they/them) is Taipei Born, New York based choreographer/dancer/photographer. As a female body that contain mostly masculine styles, such as Break dance, martial arts, Shannon constantly seek the balance or controversy in herself and the outside world to convey through her work. Shannon holds a B. Eng. in Civil Engineering from National Taiwan University, and M. F. A. in Performance and Performance Studies from Pratt Institute.

Shannon performed several works on venues in Taiwan such as National Intercollegiate Athletic Games opening and National Opera House “Window” project, and also showed her new works in La Mama, Movement Research in Judson Memorial Church, Triskelion Arts and New Step Series in Chen Dance Center in New York. shannon-yu.herokuapp.com | @hsiangru.yu